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Bird Watching

The endemic and diverse wildlife in Sri Lanka will never cease to amaze the nature lover looking for the perfect destination for that perfect nature retreat. One of the major reasons why Sri Lanka sits atop the list of being one of the major eco-tourism destinations in South Asia is due to its abundance of endemic birds.

Being one of the finest birding destinations in the world, bird watching in Sri Lanka has been a major element in the tourist industry of Sri Lanka, even before ‘Eco tourism’ became trendy. This can be attributed to the many forest reserves, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries that serve as the habitations of many feathered resident, as well as migratory species of birds.

You will definitely be impressed by the sheer amount of species you will catch through your lenses in this little paradise island.

Interesting Facts

  • Sri Lanka is home to more than ten wildlife reserves that are considered a bird watcher’s paradise.
  • The most notable being the Kumana National Park, the Sinharaja Rain Forest, Bodinagala Forest Reserve, Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, Peak Wilderness Sanctuaries, the Kitulgala Forest Reserve, and Horton Plains National Park.
  • The Bundala National Park is famous for being a perfect nesting and breeding spot for many migratory species during the Northern winter due to it being in the migratory pathway of the birds.
  • Sanctuaries situated in Yala, Udawalawe, Wilpattu, and Minneriya can be considered some of the lesser known bird watching destinations, but still are major biodiversity hotspots in the country that possess many endemic species of birds to marvel at.
  • According to the Wildlife Department, 436 species of birds have been recorded, of which 236 are breeding species and 203 of them are migratory species. Out of this, 33 species and 68 sub species are endemic.
  • For a country as small as Sri Lanka having 33 endemic species and 68 endemic subspecies of birds with a species endemism of 11% further goes to demonstrate why Sri Lanka is one of the finest birding destinations in the world.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The bird watching season generally stretches from November to April, when both resident and migratory species can be spotted.
  • It is best to go through a tour company, if you are serious about observing all the endemic bird species in the country.
  • Please make sure you adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the relevant authorities in each wildlife sanctuary.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your binoculars, camera, khakis, and have an experience of a lifetime in your birding tours throughout the country.

Title image by: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau

Location info

Bird Watching - Kumana National Park

Bird Watching - Sinharaja Forest Reserve

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Season

November - April

Guided Tour

Ayu In The Wild

Type

Nature and Outdoors

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